Patty slingers vie at the Boca Burger Battle, the Arsht lets it snow, and a neo-soul icon headlines an Overtown arts fest. Plus, Roger Waters, “Sweeney Todd,” Royal Room cabaret and more in your week ahead.
What: Opening night of “Slava’s Snowshow”
Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 305/949-6722, arshtcenter.org
Cosmo Kramer is decidedly not in the demographic group of “Slava’s Snowshow.” But for those of us without a preternatural fear of clowns, this ambitious production looks to be one of the year’s most exciting theatrical tours. Conceived in the 1990s by famed Russian clown (and Cirque du Soleil alum) Slava Palunin, the 90-minute experience channels its creator’s influences, Marcel Marceau and Charlie Chaplin, with a budget for live spectacle that neither enjoyed in their lifetimes. Snow, streamers, webs, confetti and giant inflatable balls will rain down on the audience in this mix of Cirque, the Blue Man Group and kabuki theatre. Returning by popular demand after its successful Arsht run in 2013, “Slava’s Snowshow” runs through Aug. 6.
WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY
What: Screenings of “My Journey Through French Cinema”
Where: Lake Worth Playhouse’s Stonzek Theatre, 713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth
When: 6 p.m.
Contact: 561/296-9382, lakeworthplayhouse.org
It’s hard to contest the global dominance of French cinema. It’s second only to American movies in the depth of genius displayed over more than a century of innovation stretching from the Lumiere Brothers to contemporaries like Bruno Dumont. In “My Journey Through French Cinema,” Bertrand Tavernier, director of such classics as “Coup de Torchon” and “The Clockmaker,” explores France’s boundless film history on a scale that is both personal and comprehensive. Narrated by Tavernier and composed of savory archival footage from films both famous and obscure, this video essay masterfully traverses the oeuvres of master directors and iconic actors alike. Belmondo and Gabin, Godard and Truffaut, Renoir and Sautet are just a few of the names Tavernier chronicles in this 197-minute experience. “My Journey Through French Cinema” has been lauded by none other than Martin Scorsese—high praise from another erudite scholar of Francophilia.
What: Roger Waters
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $51 and up
Contact: 786/777-1000, aaarena.com
When Roger Waters tours, this man tours. Most recently, the Pink Floyd frontman and theatrical impresario spent four years performing his band’s “The Wall” in its entirety, a stint that included two South Florida appearances years apart: That’s two motorized warthogs, two gargantuan mother inflatables, two walls comprising 424 bricks apiece. How can Waters top this production, which holds the record for the highest-grossing tour ever for a solo musician? Find out at his latest concert spectacular, “Us and Them,” taken from the Dark Side of the Moon hit of the same name. The song’s prescient references to income inequality inspired this tour, conceived amid the populism and divisiveness of the 2016 presidential election. Waters has promised 75 percent of classic Pink Floyd and solo songs and 25 percent new material, all of it woven into a narrative through-line about those nasty haves and the pitchfork-wielding have-nots.
What: “Lettuce Laugh” comedy series
Where: Farmer’s Table, 1901 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/417-5836, farmerstableboca.com
Beginning this Friday, Farmer’s Table, one of the more innovative healthy dining destinations in Boca, will be serving up more than butter-free cooking. The restaurant, attached to the Wyndham Hotel, will present a main course of comedy every two weeks in this new series hosted in its intimate Oak Room. Local comedian Jen Hellman will emcee an evening of laughs, with Boca native Mike Vecchione—a “Tonight Show” and “Last Comic Standing” alum—headlining. In addition to the venue’s signature cocktails, attendees can try special, “guiltless” bar bites, including Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Not Your Typical Cheesesteak, Not-Yo Nachos and more. All we ask is that you forgive the pun in the event’s name.
What: Opening night of “Sweeney Todd”
Where: Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Contact: 561/514-4042, palmbeachdramaworks.org
Beauty and brutality commingle in Stephen Sondheim’s singular 1979 musical about a demon barber and his culinary accomplice, who terrorize London by developing a new meaning for the term “mystery meat.” It’s funnier than it sounds, and also lovelier, featuring some of the maestro’s most elaborate and seductive compositions. Full-fledged musicals are still new for Palm Beach Dramaworks, but judging from director Clive Cholerton’s imaginative spin on “1776” last season, I for one can’t wait to see how we scales “Sweeney Todd” for the cozy Don & Ann Brown Theatre. Shane Tanner leads the all-star cast in the title role in a production that runs through Aug. 6.
What: Overtown Music and Arts Festival
Where: Overtown Business District at Northwest Third Avenue, downtown Miami
When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Contact: 786/529-4586, overtownmusicartsfestival.com
Overtown is arguably Dade County’s most historic black community. Its first settlers were the workmen hired by Henry Flagler to extend his FEC Railway down to Miami, and they eventually formed cultural roots in the area near downtown Miami, welcoming the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday to its theaters. The region suffered much decline in the late 20th century, but its ongoing redevelopment is both inspiring and invigorating, as evidenced by this annual arts festival. Cee Lo Green headlines a stellar entertainment lineup that includes Keyshia Cole, RL, Inner Circle, RUFF ENDZ and Tito Puente Jr., and attendees can also enjoy art, craft and jewelry vendors, ethnic cuisine and an extensive Youth Zone with face painting, bounce houses and karaoke.
What: Boca Burger Battle
Where: Sanborn Square Park, 72 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton
When: 6 to 10 p.m.
Contact: 561/338-7594, bocaburgerbattle.com
Now in its sixth year, the Boca Burger Battle is a char-grilled, seasoned and filling treat for the city’s year-round residents. The snowbirds don’t know what they’re missing, so let’s edify them: The Battle features 15 chefs grilling their best meat and alternative patties for a panel of discerning judges, as they vie for the coveted title of Best Grill Master and Best Alternative Grill Master. All eyes (and teeth) will be on M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom, which has taken home the former title the past two years. It will have competition in the form of Sybarite Pig, Yard House, Josie’s Ristorante, Deck 84, ROCK: BRGR, Shake Shack and many others. Attendees can sample the burgers along with craft beers and wines and other gourmet food items, while enjoying live music from Voodoo Possum and the Big City Dogs.
What: Jill and Rich Switzer
Where: Royal Room at Colony Hotel, 155 Hammon Ave., Palm Beach
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $40 for show only, $75 for dinner and show
Contact: 561/659-8100, thecolonypalmbeach.com
Listeners to Palm Beach County’s own Legends 100.3-FM Radio are familiar with the station’s charismatic morning show hosts, Jill and Rich Switzer, who delight audiences from 6 to 10 a.m. with TV Song Trivia, the Word of the Day and other caffeinated morning-radio staples. But they don’t just spin records: This married couple also performs music. Rich is an accomplished pianist and composer, and Jill is a sought-after vocalist whose dancey standards album, It’s You I Like, was featured on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Fans can see and hear the couple this weekend at the Royal Room during the launch of its inaugural summer concert series, which continues with four more cabaret acts slated through Aug. 26.